Cage the Elephant — Tell Me I’m Pretty

The fourth studio album from Cage the Elephant was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Most of the songs were recorded in one take, capturing the band’s raw and frenetic onstage energy.
Coldplay — A Head Full of Dreams

Where Chris Martin spent Ghost Stories in a mournful mood — his sorrow perhaps derived from his divorce to Gwyneth Paltrow or perhaps not; it’s best not to read too much into the tabloid headlines — the Coldplay leader sees nothing but sunshine and stars on A Head Full of Dreams.
Grimes — Art Angels

Grimes already defied easy classification on Visions, a collection of dreamy electronic collages that resembled pop just enough to make it one of 2012’s most acclaimed albums. When she returned three years later with Art Angels, her music was even more paradoxical; Claire Boucher’s fourth album is wilder, more ambitious, and — at least on the surface — more accessible than her breakthrough.
John Williams — Star Wars: Force Awakens Score

The music that John Williams has created for the Star Wars franchise has become just as iconic as the films themselves. The Academy Award winner returns to a galaxy far, far away with another epic score.
The Wiz: Music from the NBC Television Event

The groundbreaking Broadway show that brought a little funk to Oz comes to television in an all-star production that includes Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, David Alan Grier, Ne-Yo, Uzo Aduba, Amber Riley, and Common.

Sarah Bareilles — What’s Inside: Songs from a Waitress

With her fourth full-length album, Sara Bareilles offers up a taste of the music that she has created for an upcoming Broadway musical, which is based on the 2007 film. Included is the single She Used to Be Mine.




Justin Bieber — Purpose

The highly anticipated album features Justin Bieber’s recent hit singles, What Do You Mean and Where Are U Now, and draws influence from an array of genres and collaborations. The iconic album chronicles Justin’s personal and artistic growth as he solidifies his place among the biggest stars of the time.



Kurt Cobain — Montage of Heck

Along with serving as an aural complement to the acclaimed documentary about the late Nirvana lead singer, this collection allows a rare and unfiltered glimpse into Kurt Cobain’s creative progression.




Enya — Dark Sky Island

Enya’s latest album is inspired by lyricist Roman Ryan’s work on a series of poetry books themed around islands, specifically the island of Sark’s decision to be designated as a dark sky island.




Kirk Franklin — Losing My Religion

On his eleventh album, Kirk Franklin once again establishes himself as the frontrunner in Gospel music. The thirteen song project explores timely themes and classic sentiments, while offering renewed testimony to Franklin’s status as a Grammy-winning songwriter and producer.




Ellie Goulding — Delirium

Ellie Goulding’s bold and brilliant new album represents an almighty step change, shaping a new narrative for the next stage in this remarkable singer’s journey. It also includes the single On My Mind.





Ceelo Green — Heart Blanche

Atlantic recording artist CeeLo Green’s eagerly awaited new studio album which is the superstar’s first full-length release in nearly five years. Singer/songwriter, producer, performer, TV personality, fashion icon, entrepreneur, and so much more, CeeLo Green is among the most creative and unique artists of this or any era.





Hunter Hayes — The 21 Project

Four-time Grammy nominee Hunter Hayes releases a unique and special collection. Each disc on the three CD set includes seven songs, each one performed differently-acoustic, studio, and live. It gives fans a special look into his creative mind.





Tim McGraw — Damn Country Music
In a year that has seen him performing at the Academy Awards and named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, Tim McGraw releases a brand new album. Included is the new hit single Top of the World.

One Direction — Made in the A.M.

One of the world’s biggest pop bands returns with their highly anticipated fifth album, their first since the departure of Zayn Malik. The album features Drag Me Down, which has quickly become one of their biggest singles to date.




Trans-Siberian Orchestra — Letters from the Labyrinth

The latest album from Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the first since 2009’s Night Castle, is being released just as the band heads out for their highly anticipated Ghost of Christmas Eve winter tour.

5 Seconds of Summer — Sounds Good Feels Good

5 Seconds of Summer release the highly anticipated follow-up to their chart-topping debut album, which has sold over three million copies worldwide. Included is the new single She’s Kinda Hot.



Ryan Adams — 1989

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Ryan Adams has made headlines with his track-by-track re-recording of Taylor Swift’s hit fifth album.

Toby Keith — 35 MPH Town

Two years after the release of Drinks After Work, country superstar Toby Keith is back with a brand new album. Along with the title track, it includes the hit single Drunk Americans.

Demi Lovato — Confident

Demi Lovato has no plans of cooling down as she swings into the fall season with her highly anticipated fifth studio album. The first single, Cool for the Summer, was an MTV VMA nominee for Song of the Summer.

MercyMe — MercyMe, it’s Christmas!

Ten years after releasing The Christmas Sessions, MercyMe returns with a new holiday collection that features reinterpretations of classic Christmas songs as well as original songs.
Pentatonix — Pentatonix

Grammy and Dove Award winner Chris Tomlin rings in the holiday season with a mix of festive Christmas classics and original songs. There are also special guest performances from All Sons & Daughters, Lauren Daigle, Kristyn Getty, and more.
Chris Tomlin — Adore: Christmas Sounds of Worship

Grammy and Dove Award winner Chris Tomlin rings in the holiday season with a mix of festive Christmas classics and original songs. There are also special guest performances from All Sons & Daughters, Lauren Daigle, Kristyn Getty, and more.



Carrie Underwood — Storyteller

Country superstar Carrie Underwood is back with her fifth album, her first since 2012’s chart-topping Blown Away. It includes her latest hit single Smoke Break.




Big Daddy Weave — Beautiful Offerings

Big Daddy Weave follows up the success of Love Come to Life, which featured four number one hits, with their highly anticipated new album. Included on the album is the single My Story.
Building 429 — Unashamed

Building 429 returns with a healthy offering of anthemic songs that their fans have come to love. The first single, Impossible, has already made a strong impression on the radio.
Gary Clark Jr. — The Story of Sonny Boy Slim

Gary Clark Jr., who Rolling Stone dubbed ‘The King of the Summer Festivals,’ brings his captivating mix of R&B and blues to the studio with a new album that also puts his dazzling guitar skills on display.
Colton Dixon — Calm Before the Storm

Colton Dixon releases an album full of remixed and acoustic versions of fan favorites from his career including his biggest songs You Are; Never Gone; and More of You.
Lana Del Rey — Honeymoon

The fourth album from Lana Del Rey takes on a more orchestral approach than her previous albums. Fans have already had a taste with the singles Honeymoon and High By the Beach.
Jewel — Picking Up the Pieces

Singer-songwriter Jewel creates the musical bookend to her multiplatinum-selling debut, Pieces of You. The album’s release coincides with the release of her memoir and it also includes an incredible duet with Dolly Parton.
Shinedown — Threat to Survival

Shinedown is back with their fifth studio album, their first new release in three years. The first single, Cut the Cord, has already reached the top of the rock radio chart.
Silversun Pickups — Better Nature

Three years after their last studio album, Neck of the Woods, Silversun Pickups return with their fifth full-length release. Produced by Jacknife Lee, the album includes the tracks Connection; Cradle (Better Nature); and Nightlight.
Various Artists — WOW Hits 2016

Straight from the radio comes this two-disc collection featuring some of the biggest artists and hits in contemporary Christian music. Included are hits from Chris Tomlin, Mandisa, TobyMac, Casting Crowns, and more.
Yo-Yo Ma & Kathryn Stott — Songs from the Arc of Life

Longtime friends, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott, create a unique classical music experience with their new recording. It includes pieces they have frequently performed but never recorded, as well as a handful of discoveries.

Bon Jovi — Burning Bridges

With millions of albums sold and thousands of successful concerts, Bon Jovi has earned their place among rock royalty. Now the band is back with their ninth studio album, their first new release since 2013’s What About Now.




Luke Bryan — Kill the Lights

KILL THE LIGHTS is the follow up to Luke s most successful album to date, Crash My Party, which contains six consecutive No. 1 singles, is certified Double Platinum and has currently sold over two million copies with eight million digital downloads.
Carly Rae Jepsen — Emotion

For her latest album, Carly Rae Jepsen collaborates with some of the biggest producers and songwriters, including Sia. The first single, I Really Like You, has already racked up millions of views online and extensive radio play.



Rend Collective — As Family We Go

Hailing from Ireland, Rend Collective is one of the Christian music’s most exciting new acts. Their latest studio record features engaging, upbeat worship that brings listeners closer to God. It also includes the radio hit You Will Never Run.




Rob Thomas — The Great Unknown

Multiple Grammy Award winner, and Matchbox Twenty frontman, Rob Thomas releases his first new solo album in more than six years. The highly anticipated album includes the new single Trust You.





The Weeknd — Beauty Behind the Madness

Two years after releasing Kiss Land, the Weeknd returns with his third full-length studio album, which includes the singles Can’t Feel My Face; The Hills; and Often..




Wilco — Star Wars

Wilco follows up their Grammy-nominated 2012 album, The Whole Love, with their ninth studio effort. Among the tracks is the new single Random Name Generator.




Yo-Yo Ma & Kathryn Stott — Songs from the Arc of Life


Longtime friends, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott, create a unique classical music experience with their new recording. It includes pieces they have frequently performed but never recorded, as well as a handful of discoveries.


Mac Demarco — Another One

Like the days of Steely Dan or Harry Nilsson releasing a classic album every year comes an eight-track release that expands the arsenal of Mac DeMarco’s already impressive catalog, showing the maturity of his progression as songwriter.
immortalizedDisturbed — Immortalized

After a four-year hiatus, hard rock titans Disturbed announce their return with their sixth studio album, which features the lead single The Vengeful One. Their last album, Asylum, was the band’s fourth consecutive number one release.
Now That’s What I Call Music 55

From Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud to Taylor Swift’s Style, the biggest chart hits come together in a new collection that also includes hits from Maroon 5, Nick Jonas, Tove Lo, Jason Derulo, and more.
buckcherryBuckcherry — Rock N’ Roll

Notorious LA hard rockers Buckcherry come roaring back onto the scene with their seventh full-length. They keep the party going with tracks like Bring It on Back, which is also the first single.


TobyMac — This Is Not a Test

The sixth studio album from the Christian hip hop artist.

Chemical Brothers — Born in the Echoes

The Grammy Winning Chemical Brothers return with their first album in five years and quickly remind fans of their influence and importance.



Finger Eleven — Five Crooked Lines

Finger Eleven prepares to release their seventh studio album, which is also their first new full-length in five years. Immediate, urgent, and unfiltered, it expresses the exultant spirit of rock n’ roll.
Buddy Guy — Born to Play Guitar

Legendary blues icon Buddy Guy returns with the follow-up to his 2013 album, Rhythm and Blues. Joining him here are such guests as Van Morrison, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Joss Stone, and Kim Wilson.



Jason Isbell — Something More Than Free

Jason Isbell returns with the follow-up to his acclaimed 2013 album Southeastern. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he stated that this release will be less dark. It also includes the track 24 Frames.
Alan Jackson — Angels and Alcohol

Country superstar Alan Jackson returns with his first new studio album in three years. It also marks 25 years since he released his debut album. Jackson had a hand in writing seven of the album’s ten tracks.
Owl City — Mobile Orchestra

Owl City, the artist behind hits like Fireflies, is back with his fifth album. The first single, Verge, features vocals from Aloe Blacc. There are also appearances from Hanson and country star Jake Owen.



Joss Stone — Water For Your Soul

Soulful singer Joss Stone returns with her first new album since 2012’s The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2. Includes the tracks The Answer; Stuck On You; and Let Me Breathe.

Since we’re deep in the midst of summer vacation and hopefully none of the kids that you know are stuck in summer school, everyone is free to explore and run and, most importantly, not have to worry about getting up early and going to school. This break brings a conundrum to light as both parents and teachers begin to worry about the summer slide, also known as the time when kids start forgetting the important things they learned in the school year while they are on summer vacation.

How do we, as educators, parents, librarians, babysitters, etc, combat this? By making learning fun. Sure, we could bring home big tomes from the library and tell our kids that they have to read a certain set of pages before they can go outside and play, but the resulting struggle will instead leave everyone frustrated and angry and wishing they had something to bash their heads against. Let me help you avoid the agony and present you with some exciting and less injurious options. Let’s focus today’s blog post on history and alternative methods of learning, shall we? Read on!

hip-hop us historyI don’t know about you, but my difficulties in remembering things in school, and especially over summer vacation, always revolved around history. Blurgh. Textbooks made me fall asleep, I was always mixing dates around in my head, and THEN I discovered Hip-Hop U.S. History: The New and Innovative Approach to Learning American History. (I had found other similar works, not by the same authors, ranging from mixing poetry and music to math and music, but this, by far, was my favorite.) Blake Harrison and Alex Rappaport created Flocabulary, a website for teachers and school districts to find ways to teach anything ranging from social studies to languages arts to math and science to kids of all ages, but I particularly enjoyed this book. Number 1 reason: It has a CD of all the songs inside of it AND has an actual list of the lyrics! Each song has its own dedicated chapter with the lyrics broken down and explained in better detail. Be still your heart if you think this book is still boring. It’s not! Pictures are also added with quotations from that time period, perspectives pieces, and little biographies of the important people. You learn without actually realizing you’re learning! (And you’ll also have a few catchy songs stuck in your head to help you remember those pesky dates and important historical details!)


Let me share with you my most delightful learning find. This is the Crash Course YouTube channel, put together by none other that John Green, his lovely brother Hank, and two of their friends, Phil Plait and Craig Benzine. If these names sound familiar, yay! If not, let me introduce you to John Green, a writer of young adult books with works such as The Fault in Our Stars, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. He and his brother, Hank Green, also have another YouTube channel called Vlogbrothers, where they send videos to each other, but these are far less about learning, so let’s focus on Crash Course. Here you will find videos on literature, ecology, biology, world history, US history, chemistry, and psychology, and many more. I got hooked on the literature ones, where John discusses anything from authors to books to poetry and adds his own unique spin. Each video is animated and punch filled with learning and facts and humor and keeps you on the edge of your seat wanting to learn more. I highly recommend you check them out for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below.

This blog post gives you a glimmer of some of the things I’ve found that have helped with my own learning. I’ve got more ideas rolling around in my head, so keep checking back. If you’re looking for different ways to engage the kids you know or are maybe curious for yourself about new ways to learn old things, contact us at the library and we’d be glad to help you!

Florence + The Machine — How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

The third album from Florence + The Machine is live-sounding, tune-rich, unhinged in all the right places and powerful in all the best ways. In voice, lead singer Florence Welch has never sounded better. Includes the singles What Kind of Man; St. Jude; and Ship to Wreck.

dronesMuse — Drones

The seventh studio album from the Grammy winning alternative band from the UK. The first single is Dead Inside. Co-produced by Muse and Robert John “Mutt” Lange.


dalePitbull — Dale

Pitbull is back and ready to get the party started with his highly anticipated second Spanish language album. It promises to start the summer off right and keep the good times going throughout the year.

Brandon Flowers — The Desired Effect

Almost five years since the release of his critically acclaimed solo debut, Flamingo, Brandon Flowers’s solo return follows a time of continued huge success with his band, the Killers.
Mumford & Sons — Wilder Mind

Features twelve new tracks, written collaboratively by the band in London, Brooklyn, and Texas. This release marks a significant departure for the young British band from their previous two records. There is a minimalist yet panoramic feel to this new album.
NOW #1s

The ever-popular music series brings together a collection of chart-topping hits from the worlds of pop, rock, rap, country, and more.

NOW That’s What I Call Music! 54

From rock and pop to rap, electronic, and country, one of music’s most popular series returns with a new collection featuring some of the hottest hits on the charts today.

Skrillex & Diplo — Jack U

Two of the biggest superstars in electronic music team up for a tour de force album that also includes guest appearances from Justin Bieber, 2 Chainz, and AlunaGeorge.
My Morning Jacket — The Waterfall


After four years, My Morning Jacket return with their seventh studio album. Their seventh full-length release also includes the new single Big Decisions.